The idea for the Bonnevaux Business Meditation Group (BBMG) was mooted by Fr Laurence and Peter Ng in late April, early May of 2020 when COVID-19 raged across many parts of the world, and the number of infections rose globally at an alarming rate. People were dealing with many fears under lockdown: feeling isolated or displaced, worried about catching the virus, concerned for their separated family members, and anxious about financial hardship. Because the BBMG was started to help business and working people respond to the crisis in a contemplative way, the word “business” was originally included in its name. The word “business” also indicated that the group is not intended to be an exclusively Christian group, although it is led by Fr Laurence, a Catholic priest.
It is a secular meditation group where people of any or no spiritual tradition are welcomed. Some members are not in business, but are teachers, professionals who work for non-profit organizations, policy makers, etc., and the word “business” was eventually dropped from the name to make it even more inclusive. The group now known as the Bonnevaux Meditation Group (BMG), met online for the first time on May 15, 2020, and has continued to meet once a week for about 45 minutes. Meetings start with a talk by Fr Laurence, group members, or invited speakers, and end with a 20-min-ute silent meditation.
The BMG is there every week for members to support each other. For me, a book form is still a very effective medium to share knowledge. By publishing “Contemplative Leaders” we hope to reach outside our group and encourage more people to take up meditation or be more regular in their practice. We hope that working people who may not be familiar with meditation will obtain a better understanding of what meditation is through our personal stories and re-flections. We hope they will find the experiences of other working professionals relatable and be encouraged to join our practice.
The reflections are testimonies of meditation as an effective way to over-come life’s challenges. When we read or hear about other people’s experi-ences, we learn more about ourselves. Through our own thoughts and our own responses to their sharing, we are invited to dig deeper. Ultimately we hope the reflections will inspire desire or resolve for inner change in the readers.
This article is part of the August issue of the WCCM Quarterly Newsletter.
Read and download the full issue here.